Man Utd Team News: Van Gaal Confirms Huge Double Injury Blow
Manchester United will be looking to bounce back when they take on West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. Here’s the latest team news from van Gaal
Manchester United will be looking to bounce back when they take on West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of the game, boss Louis van Gaal has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference and he’s given ManUtd.com a team news and injury update.
Unfortunately, the Dutch boss has confirmed that he’ll be without the services of Chris Smalling after he limped out of Wednesday’s training session with ‘stiff legs’ and he won’t be risked this weekend.
It leaves United desperately short of options in defence as in a double blow Jonny Evans is also ruled out after being forced off last week against Leicester City with an ankle injury.
The Northern Irishman joins Phil Jones on the sidelines while Tyler Blackett is suspended following his sending off last weekend, so van Gaal has admitted he’ll be forced to promote one of the clubs youth players to the first team this weekend.
Under-21 skipper Tom Thorpe is perhaps the most likely to be promoted but while van Gaal didn’t name any names, he did say this is a great opportunity for the young players to prove themselves at the highest level.
He told the clubs website:
“Smalling came out of yesterday’s training session because he had stiff legs. I won’t take risks with players – they have to be fit.”
“Jonny Evans’ bone is bruised a lot and we have to wait and see how it goes. I have nine injuries now and one player suspended with Blackett. All three of my right-sided centre-halves are out, so I will have to go to the youth education [system] and pick players from there.”
“There are vacancies. The younger players can have their chance.
“The young players are always ready. They are hungry to play the game.
“United’s youth education has a level that can provide that. There’s a big difference between youth games and the Premier League but in one game you can show [prove] yourself.”
It’s certainly a precarious situation for United to be in and it’s hugely unfortunate for van Gaal to be without four central defenders for the visit of West Ham, but it does open the door for the likes of Tom Thorpe to stake his claim for a first team spot.
As well as his problems in defence, van Gaal will also be without midfield trio Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young but Luke Shaw is expected to make his full debut at left-back after proving his fitness this week.
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